Bob Melvin

Melvin defends San Francisco's reputation amid negative noise

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In recent weeks, the city of San Francisco has been -- fairly or unfairly -- under fire for potentially being responsible for the Giants’ struggles to sign marquee free agents. 

Figures such as Warriors coach Steve Kerr and MLB agent Scott Boras lately have come to the city’s defense, in addition to Giants fan favorites such as Buster Posey, Hunter Pence and Logan Webb, all emphasizing how San Francisco is desirable and its problems aren’t unique to the city.

Add new Giants manager Bob Melvin to the list of San Francisco’s defenders, as the Bay Area native pushed back against the city’s negative perception on a recent appearance of “The TK Show” with The Athletic's Tim Kawakami.

“Forever, players have wanted to come to San Francisco,” Melvin explained to Kawakami. “It’s a great, great city. I think big cities are having the same types of problems. And at the end of the day, we want guys that want to be here. So, we can’t really affect how people feel about (the city). 

“The more guys that end up coming here and we have success, the more guys that are going to want to be here. That’s the way I look at it.”

Despite missing out on signing Japanese superstars Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Melvin knows San Francisco as a hot spot for free agents.

The proof is evident, as the Giants recently signed Korean star Jung Hoo Lee from the KBO league to a six-year, $113 million contract.

Nonetheless, Melvin plans to utilize the path of Posey when recruiting free agents on the fence about San Francisco, as the legendary Giants catcher was born and raised in the South and converted to a Bay Area local.

“That’s a great story about Buster,” Melvin told Kawakami. “To play his career here and then go home. And then, after one year, realized, ‘Hey, I’m a Bay Area guy,’ and moved back here, in the East Bay for a while. That resonates with me. I think it should resonate with a lot of guys – what it means to live here, the Bay Area culture and sports culture. 

“We’ll have to continue conversions as that goes, but that’s certainly a talking point to try and recruit guys that may be in between. Look at the past of Buster Posey. He’s had a pretty good path that meant a lot to Bay Area baseball and the Bay Area in general. Good story to have in my back pocket.”

While Posey recently acknowledged concerns about the city from players and their families, he is rooted in the region and an example Melvin is eager to cite when recruiting.

As the Giants explore their paths to improvement throughout the offseason, Melvin doesn’t believe the city of San Francisco is the reason for the lack of blockbuster deals.

There’s a good chance the Giants’ 79-83 record during the 2023 MLB season is more of a deterrent to free agents, instead.

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